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2010

Birds That Go "Bump" in the Night

Migrating songbirds can face threats from unexpected sources.

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Holiday Greeting from MDC!

Enjoy our inspiring holiday video from Missouri's outdoors.

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Cabin Fever Cure

Learn about the bald eagle and escape the winter doldrums.

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Opportunities to Grow Native!

Learn how to use native plants in your home landscape.

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Think of the Future

Make your arrangements now for spring tree and shrub plantings.

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Take the MDC Website Video Tour

New video available to introduce MDC's redesigned website.

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Deer Hunters, Beware of Fire Danger!

Don't let an escaped fire ruin deer season.

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Think Twice Before Striking a Match

Right now is a terrible time to burn rubbish.

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Season of Change

Enjoy the fall season outdoors.

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Photo of a family deer hunting

There's a First Time for Everything!

Online "first" certificates help you make a free and lasting memory of a young hunter's first deer.

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Bird Interlude

You may have noticed a lack of birds lately, but it's nothing to worry about. In a few more weeks we’ll have temperatures near freezing, and you're sure to have hungry birds at your feeders.

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Last-Minute Quick Draw Update

The application page is not online yet, but it will be Friday.

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Almost Last But Not Least

Late-blooming downy gentian is worth the wait!

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Looking Forward to Quick Draw

I HATE most new stuff, but not this.

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They're As Big As Soccer Balls!

Giant puffball fungi are prevalent this fall.

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2011 Natural Events Calendar Now Available

Natural Events Calendar for 2011 is available for purchase.

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Urban Deer Zone Confusion

Sometimes efforts to make information accessible backfire.

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The Spice of Life

Frequently Missourians send me photos of various caterpillars, and they usually ask me to identify them. One of the more interesting ones is the caterpillar of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus). It is a common species in the Ozarks but less so in other Missouri regions.

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photo of a Rainbow trout slow-cooking on the engine of a pickup truck

Trout a la Mink

Bake for 60 miles at F-150.

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Abundant Dragonflies

Dragonflies have been massing in recent weeks, some for long-distance migration.

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2010 Teal Season Opens Tomorrow

Another opening day for wing shooters tomorrow.

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We Built It . . . and They Came Back

Quail return to the grounds of the Conservation Department's Headquarters.

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Dove Opener Next Wednesday

Tips for dove season opener on Sept. 1.

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Photo of a white-tailed deer with asymmetrical antlers.

Antler Development, Part III

Wherein an aspiring antler expert eats humble pie

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Unusual Summer Insects

Unusual summer insects that you may be seeing around your yard or property.

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The Hummingbird Versus the Honeybee

Magazine readers take sides over honeybees at hummingbird feeders.

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Deer antler growth as of May 15

Antler Growth, Part II

Check out how much my camera-loving buck's antlers have grown since last time.

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Bad Hair Day

An e-mailer recently described to me an odd encounter she had with wildlife. She killed a cockroach by stepping on it. Before she could dispose of the dead cockroach, a narrow worm-like organism that was several inches long crawled out of the cockroach and began weaving its body like a snake on the her floor.

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Over the Hump

I’ve already had enough of this summer’s heat and humidity, and I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. There is some encouragement, however, in the average annual temperature data. A look at a plot of the average temperature highs and lows for mid-Missouri shows that mid-July is the peak of both curves.

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Cicadas and Their Killers

The middle of July through August is the time that we should be hearing annual, or dog-day, cicadas whining in the treetops around sunset.

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New Shrooms and Herps Guidebooks

Two new guidebooks are now available to help you identify and appreciate the species in these groups.

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Fall Permits Now for Sale

Today is the first day that you can purchase several permits for hunting in Missouri this coming fall and winter.

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New Lake City Shooting Range Open

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s newest state-of-the-art facility is open in Buckner near Kansas City.

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Leaves affected by jumping oak gall.

Jumping Oak Galls, Batman!

Missourians from St. Louis to Table Rock Lake are reporting a strange condition on the leaves of oak trees.

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Mulberries Fruiting

If backyard wildlife celebrated holidays, this week would have been the annual Mulberry Festival. In mid-Missouri, the female trees of white mulberry are bearing heavy fruit crops.

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Squirrel Hunting Now Available

The 2010 squirrel season opened on May 22 and remains open through next Feb. 15.

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Charismatic Reptiles

To many people, snakes and lizards are not what come to mind when they think of likable wildlife.

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Returning Birds

A couple of beautiful bird species are returning to Missouri now after spending the winter in areas to the south of us.

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How Old Is My Turkey?

Surely one of the things that causes most head scratching among turkey hunters is the question of how old a particular gobbler is.

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Insect + Tree = Something Weird

Lately I’ve been seeing insect galls on the ground that were blown down from the strong winds of spring thunderstorms.

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"Orphaned" Wildlife

It’s that time of the year again, when Missourians frequently call us to report that they have “rescued” or found “orphaned” wildlife or injured animals needing help.

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What's in a Name?

I love questions from curious people. I always learn something answering them. Today I got one from that increasingly endangered species, a letter writer.

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Morel Season a Bust?

A week or two ago, newspaper columnist Ken White raised the question of what had happened to morels this year.

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Wildlife Calendar

According to the Department’s Natural Events Calendar, April 15 is the average day of last frost in central Missouri, where I live.

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The Rare and Elusive Eared Bluebird

I thought of saving this post until next April Fool’s Day, but that is too long to wait. Sam Perotti of New Melle, Mo., sent us this photo that was taken recently by his backyard trail camera.

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A Story with a Morel

I know only two things about morels for certain.

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Black Snakes Banish Rodents and Vipers

I was walking my dog Friday afternoon and stumbled across a huge black rat snake.

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Coming Soon to a Landscape Near You

You may have noticed some flowering trees already this spring: the white blooms of serviceberry, plums and ornamental pears and the pink of Japanese magnolia and peaches.

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What's Better than Turkey Hunting?

I have accomplished the impossible. I have discovered something that makes spring turkey hunting even more exciting.

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Spring Turkey Booklet Available

As we turn the calendar page to April, Missouri turkey hunters are thinking of the spring seasons that open this month. The youth season is April 10–11 and the regular spring season is April 19–May 9.

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Are Your Permits Expired?

If these warm spring days are making you think of going fishing, be sure to add “check permit” to your list of things to do in preparation.

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Martin Homecoming

According to the Natural Events Calendar, this is the week when the year’s first purple martins usually return to Missouri after overwintering in South America.

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Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

It’s hard for me to prevent the lyrics of that old song from coming to mind when I pass a road-killed skunk on the highway.

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Timber! (Doodles)

I spent a wonderful hour recently exercising my golden retriever, Willa, at one of my favorite autumn woodcock hunting spots.

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Alien Teeth

I recently received some interesting photos of a “jawbone with teeth” found by a Missourian who was out searching for shed deer antlers.

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Take Big-Cat Stories with a Big Grain of Salt

I just got an e-mail forward with several photos and some text about the supposed sighting of three mountain lions in Missouri.

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Looking Forward

This winter is starting to wear on me.

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A Salamander Went a Courtin'

Did you know that as you sleep this month, there may be a tiger mating in a nearby pond or marsh?

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MoNASP: The Wow Effect

Today’s post is an on-the-spot account of the second Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) tournament from Kevin Lohraff, who coordinates the Conservation Department’s outdoor skills programs.

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How to Cook Your Goose

After waterfowl seasons close each year, two of my hunting buddies and I get together with our long-suffering wives to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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Early Signs of Spring

As we shovel snow and brace for cold north winds this week, it’s hard to feel very encouraged that spring is just around the corner.

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Rabbit Hunting with Smith & Wesson

Missouri's rabbit season fills the gap between deer season and spring turkey season for avid hunters.

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Xplor New Website for Kids

Get out! That’s what kids will want to do after they’ve spent some time on the new Xplor website from the Missouri Conservation Department. It’s filled with videos, animations and photos on nature and outdoor fun.

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Magical Winter

As a small child, I was awstruck when intricate frost designs festooned my bedroom windows on cold winter mornings.

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Frozen Ticks and Chiggers?

After Missouri experienced some bitter cold temperatures during the first 10 days of the new year, I received questions regarding the effects of the low temperatures on this year’s populations of ticks, chiggers, armadillos and insects.

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Ozark Treasure Hunting

Years ago, when I lived in West Plains, I loved to explore little Ozark streams in search of smallmouth bass, morels, wild orchids and other treasures.

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Time to Hunt for Shed Antlers

The firearms deer season is over now and the archery season will end on the 15th, but you still may be able to bring home part of a deer for the next few months.

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Archery Scores a Bull's-eye in Missouri Schools

At this time last year, very few Missourians knew what NASP stood for.

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